Iowa companies show renewable energy technologies - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa companies show renewable energy technologies

KWWL (Cedar Falls) - With rising energy bills and presidential campaign platforms calling for environmental change, the Iowa Renewable Energy Association had its biggest turnout yet at their yearly Energy and Sustainability Expo in Cedar Falls. While green technology has been around for decades, it's becoming more popular and more profitable in Iowa.

"Our energy expo grows every year. There are more businesses, more interested consumers every year. Everyone wants to reduce their energy bill, and they also want to reduce their footprint on the earth.

More than 80 exhibitors showed off the latest in energy technology with some of those companies are based in Eastern Iowa. One Cedar Rapids company sells a variety of products aimed at reducing energy usage and bills by 30 to 40 percent. Owners say business has been taking off since they opened three years ago.

"The gas is up. Energy's rising. Bills are rising. We're trying to do things to help combat that. So our product is booming," Midwest Energy Savers owner Stacey Long said.

Other companies say they're seeing increased interest, but not a sharp increase in sales just yet, partially due to cost.

"There's a lot of interest, but people are conservative in Iowa with spending that kind of money, but eventually it's starting to happen," R.J. Jordan, owner of R.J. Construction said. Jordan has been in the construction business for years, but in the last three years began using renewable energy technology like solar panals.

Jordan says installing a three panel solar unit to account for about ten percent of a household's energy usage would cost around ten thousand dollars and take several years to pay off in money saved. Even so, some speculate using renewable energy will become a building requirement. Some construction companies are moving toward renewable energy sources now.

"We try to integrate as much as we can. Put as many of these particular projects as we can into our remodeling when we build an addition.. put this stuff on it to make homes more energy efficient," Jordan said.

Whether it's powering your home or your car, everyone at the expo agrees, the way we create and use energy is quickly changing.

According to the Iowa Renewable Energy Association, Iowa has the capability to produce nearly five times the state's yearly electricity consumption using wind power alone.

Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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